Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Making the Climb Together
You'd never guess it was July 8th, because there was snow all the way up the 1.5-mile steady incline to the overlook of the still-frozen Hidden Lake -- sometimes soft, deep, unstable snow, like walking on the beach in thick sand, but also slippery at times. (Two are better than one... if either of them falls down, one can help the other up! Eccl:4-9-10)
We took longer than most to reach the summit, but it was an exhilirating hike and the views were spectacular tromping around in the "Crown of the Continent." What I didn't know then was my dear husband had pain with every step... but he conquered the hike because he knew I was looking forward to it so much. (He went on to have hip surgery in November.) What a man!
This is just one of many beautiful things in our marriage. With not a grumble, he suffered in silence to do something he didn't want me to give up. I love his sense of adventure in wanting to provide these opportunities for me. My confidence has grown with his love and encouragement every day. It's a love more delightful than wine. It inspires me to watch for more opportunities to love, honor and support him, too. It urges me to share our blessings to help others embrace what we have found.
I'll be sharing some of what I believe makes a marriage great in a breakout session at the Women's Breakway on April 9. Is it romance, mystery and adventure? Sacrifice, companionship, attentiveness, grace? Indeed, it is all these things as we seek to live the extravagant love our Father has modeled for us. We're going to celebrate the blessings of marriage with practical wisdom, personal stories and scriptural examples.
I love when I hear people in praise of their marriages, don't you? Isn't it encouraging to hear sweet things instead of only what went wrong? I suspect many couples could be a lot happier than they are. Let's not take our relationships for granted -- every great union needs nurturing. What do you do to keep your marriage on solid ground? We can help model the way for others to keep marriages nurtured, encouraged, God-centered, healthy and strong!
Father, we know that You designed marriage and called it good. A cord of three strands is not easily broken (Eccl. 4:12). Teach us how to follow your example of unfailing love and lavish grace.
How do you nurture your marriage? What is the best advice you could give another woman wanting to keep her marriage strong?